For many people, getting a tattoo is a way to commemorate a particular time in their life. They might get inked with the name of a loved one, or a design relevant to their hopes and dreams. However, it’s unlikely that any of their designs would be work-related. Unless you really, really love your job, why would you want it tattooed on you for all eternity? It’s a bit of a strange thing to do… Well, except for people in the entertainment industry, apparently!
Judging by the celebrity tattoos we’ve spotted over the years, getting inked to commemorate a role is a pretty popular thing to do. Some celebs have got small, discreet designs as a private reminder of a much-loved acting job. Others have gone all the way and got massive tattoos to show the world how much they enjoyed making a show or movie. In some adorable cases, multiple cast members have got matching tattoos to solidify their off-screen friendships. Here are just some of the stars that decided to get inked to pay tribute to their famous role.
17. The ‘Fellowship’ actors from The Lord of the Rings
After working together on three pretty lengthy film shoots, it’s unsurprising that the cast of the Lord of the Rings trilogy got pretty close. Especially tight-knit were the actors that formed the ‘Fellowship’ in the first movie. This group of nine pals decided to get matching tattoos after the movies wrapped, electing to get the Elvish rune for the number nine inked on various parts of their body. Well… All but one of the nine, actually. Gimli actor Jonathan Rhys Davies infamously declined to participate, with his stunt double taking his place instead. Aside from this exception, the rest of the Fellowship – including Orlando Bloom, Ian McKellen, and Sean Bean – can all be seen proudly showing off their tattoos to this day.
16. Selena Gomez
The subject matter of Netflix drama Thirteen Reasons Why was pretty close to executive producer Selena Gomez’s heart. Based on the book by Jay Asher, the show mostly deals with teen depression and suicide. Gomez has been open about her own mental health struggles in the past, admitting that the show became a “passion project” due to the singer’s personal connection to its source material. In fact, when 13RW was slated to become a movie, SelGo was supposed to be the star!
To show how much the show meant to them, Gomez and cast members Alisha Boe and Tommy Dorfman got tattoos commemorating the end of the first season’s filming. The trio went for a semi-colon inked on their wrists, a popular design for mental health advocates. It was a touching gesture that meant a lot to everyone involved.
15. Neil Patrick Harris
Neil Patrick Harris was so pleased when his Netflix show A Series of Unfortunate Events got renewed for a second season that he headed straight to a tattoo parlor to celebrate! The actor got inked for the first time in honor of the show – it clearly means a lot to him! Harris decided to get the same infamous design as his character, Count Olaf: an eye on his ankle. It’s actually a pretty important plot device in the original stories… Harris has done the show’s makeup department a favor! They no longer have to draw the tattoo on each day for filming! It’s now a very permanent feature for the actor and a constant reminder of one of his most successful roles. Roll on ASOUE season two!
14. Maisie Williams & Sophie Turner
Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner are basically BFF goals. They’ve been close ever since Game of Throne’s first season and are now at the point where Williams was Turner’s first choice of bridesmaid in her upcoming wedding to Joe Jonas. Could they BE any cuter? Well, apparently so – turns out Williams and Turner have matching tattoos to commemorate both their GOT roles and their friendship. The two actresses have a specific date inked on their arms: 07/08/09. August 7th, 2009 was the date that Maisie and Sophie found out that they’d scored their GOT roles! It was the start of both an amazing job and an amazing friendship for the pair. We can see why they wanted to honor it!
13. Bryan Cranston
While Bryan Cranston has starred in all manner of popular series over the years, he’s perhaps best known for his turn as Walter White in Breaking Bad. Cranston garnered critical acclaim for his performance as the cancer-stricken meth dealer, and the show became a huge hit. When you’ve been the lead actor of arguably one of the best drama series of all time, it’s unsurprising that you’d want to get a permanent reminder of your role. Cranston chose to get the show’s famous “BrBa” tattooed on his finger in tiny form. It’s a subtle but awesome tribute to an amazing show! Can you believe it’s been five years since the Breaking Bad finale? Time flies…
12. Aaron Paul
Bryan Cranston wasn’t the only Breaking Bad star to get inked in honor of the show. His co-star Aaron Paul also went under the needle, getting a much larger tribute than Branston’s subtle logo tattoo! Paul got the words “No Half Measures” inked in his arm, three pretty poignant words for fans of the show. “No Half Measures” is the name of a classic episode in the show’s third season that featured a huge moment between Walter White and former police officer Mike Ehrmantraut. While non-Breaking Bad viewers would probably see Paul’s tattoo as nothing more than an inspirational phrase, dedicated fans will appreciate the actor’s visual tribute to the show.
11. The female stars of Mad Max: Fury Road
While there aren’t any pictures out there of the Mad Max: Fury Road cast’s matching tattoos, we have it on a very good authority that they exist. In an interview with Vanity Fair magazine, Australian actress Courtney Easton confirmed that she and her fellow “sister wife” actresses all got the same design tattooed while filming the movie. It’s unsurprising that this group of five stars became close on set: they did quite literally portray the sister wives – or ‘Breeders’ of the movie’s antagonist, Immortan Joe. That guy sounds like a charmer. Easton shared that she and her co-stars all got tattoos of three dots and a triangle as a bonding experience during production. Cute!
10. The cast of Suicide Squad
The cast of DC’s ensemble supervillain movie Suicide Squad didn’t just get matching tattoos. Oh, no. They took it one step further and actually tattooed EACH OTHER. Will Smith and Margot Robbie were snapped giving co-stars including Cara Delevingne, Joel Kinnaman, and Jai Courtney matching “skwad” designs. It doesn’t sound like Smith has found an alternative career, though: Kinnaman was less than complimentary about his tattooing skills. Apparently, watching Smith in action was “like watching a drunk baby fly a helicopter.” Yeah… Maybe just stick to the day job, Will! Robbie, on the other hand, was apparently quite good with the ink and needle. Is there anything that woman can’t do?
9. The cast of Shadowhunters
Popular teen fantasy series Shadowhunters is famous for having a pretty tight-knit cast. A lot of the show’s actors and actresses are close friends off-screen, including leads Kat McNamara and Dominic Sherwood. Knowing this, it’s kinda unsurprising that the cast decided to go one step further and commemorate their time together with matching tattoos! In general, the group has been pretty coy about their ink’s design. However, McNamara eventually confirmed on Instagram that the cast had decided on an angel rune design that is pretty important in the show itself. She even included a snap of her own tattoo: a fairly small design on her foot. It may be tiny, but it looks super cool nonetheless!
8. Lea Michele
Lea Michele has got quite a few tattoos over the years, many of which have been dedicated to important people and groups in her life. She’s got no less than three designs that relate to Glee, either directly or through a tribute to her late partner Cory Monteith’s character Finn. Michele got her first Glee-related design with co-stars Jenna Ushkowitz and Kevin McHale, a tattoo on her foot that reads “Imagine.” She also has a gold star on her wrist dedicated to her character Rachel Berry. Most poignantly of all, Michele has the number five tattooed on her side: it’s the number that was on the back of Monteith’s character’s football jersey. No, YOU’RE crying.
7. Tom Holland
Tom Holland is the third major actor to portray Spider-Man in recent years. However, he’s the first to get inked in honor of his new role! In an interview to promote Spider-Man: Homecoming, Holland whipped off his shoes and socks to reveal an arachnid-themed design on the bottom of his foot. It’s the iconic Spider-Man spider hanging from a thread of web. It must have been pretty painful to get inked in such a sensitive area, but Holland clearly thinks it’s worth it. The actor revealed that since the design keeps fading, he’s had it redone no less than three times, despite the pain of each procedure. Now that’s dedication.
6. The Descendants 2 cast
As Disney Channel Original Movies go, the Descendants films are pretty decent to watch. I mean, they’re no High School Musical, but what could live up to that masterpiece? Following the children of various fairy tale villains, the movies have brought various new Disney stars into the limelight. A group of these actors – specifically the pirates from Descendants 2 – decided to commemorate their breakthrough roles with matching tattoos. China McClain, Thomas Doherty, and Dylan Playfair all got anchor designs inked when filming on the sequel wrapped. McClain chronicled the experience on Snapchat, and it sure looked like a fun way to celebrate the end of the shoot! Maybe more cast members will join the tattooed-star club once Descendants 3 is in the bag.
5. The cast of Teen Mom 2
All the way back in 2011, some of the stars of MTV’s Teen Mom 2 decided to get matching tattoos in honor of their burgeoning friendship. Leah Messer and Chelsea Houska both showed off matching heart designs on social media in photos that have now been mysteriously deleted. The two’s relationship has had some major ups and downs over the years, with the two falling out and then reconciling numerous times. We think they’re on friendly terms again now, but that could change pretty quickly. While getting matching tattoos is a cute idea, it’s probably best to check you actually like your ink buddy before you actually get the design etched on your skin for all eternity. Just a thought.
4. Johnny Depp
Everyone knows that Johnny Depp is a huge fan of tattoos. However, fewer people realize that one of his designs is a homage to his famous role as Captain Jack Sparrow. In the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, Sparrow’s signature tattoo design is a sparrow – well, it’s actually a swallow, but whatever – flying away from him. Initially, this particular bit of ink was faked. However, after the filming of The Curse of the Black Pearl, the actor decided to get it tattooed for real. He made some slight changes to the design, flipping the swallow so that it’s flying towards him instead of away. Depp also added text reading ‘Jack’ underneath the bird. While you might think it’s in tribute to his character, it actually has a double meaning: Jack is also the name of Depp’s son. How sweet!
3. Shia LaBeouf
No, tragically, Shia LaBeouf does not have an Even Stevens tattoo. And to be honest, we kind of feel sorry for him after hearing the story behind some of his tattoos. While filming American Honey, the actor was apparently peer pressured by his co-stars into getting some pretty ‘interesting’ designs. To celebrate his time on the movie, LaBeouf got images of Missy Elliot, Prince, Dr. Dre, Tupac, and the Notorious B.I.G. on his knees. While the actor has claimed that he chose the designs because these are “people he loves,” other stories have emerged suggesting he was pushed into getting inked. Well, whatever the reasoning behind the choice, Shia now has various famous rappers on his knees for life. The tattoos left Ellen DeGeneres pretty speechless when LaBeouf appeared on her show. Honestly, we’re not surprised.
2. The Pretty Little Liars main cast
After filming on Pretty Little Liars’ seventh and final season wrapped, the main cast decided to honor their long-time roles with themed tattoos. Lucy Hale, Troian Bellisario, Shay Mitchell, Ashley Benson, Sasha Pieterse, and Janel Parrish all decided to get their character’s first initial tattooed on their index finger. It was a pretty appropriate place for a PLL tattoo: Lucy Hale pointed out that the index finger was the cast’s “shhhhh” finger from the show’s opening sequence! As if the occasion wasn’t special enough already, the girls decided to get their tattoos on Troian’s 31st birthday! Their friendship is just too cute to handle.
1. The cast of Harry Potter… almost
Okay, this entry is a little bit cheeky. Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and Tom Felton didn’t actually get tattoos in the end. However, if Felton had got his way, it totally would have happened. The Draco Malfoy actor has revealed that he was super keen on the movies’ main cast getting inked as a tribute to the series. It kinda makes sense: the former child actors grew up on the films’ sets! Harry Potter must mean a lot to them! Felton didn’t want to go for anything crazy like a huge design or a butt tattoo. His pretty cool idea was getting small lightning-bolt designs. However, the cast apparently chickened out at the last minute. What a shame! We’d have loved to see that…